Jussie Smollett Indicted On 16 Counts Stemming From Reported Hate Crime Attack

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The Empire actor was hit with a new indictment by a Cook County grand jury.

Jussie Smollett has been indicted by a grand jury in Chicago, according to multiple reports.

BREAKING: Grand jury returns 16 count felony indictment against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.

Prosecutors on February 20 charged Smollett with a single count of disorderly conduct for filing a false report claiming two men attacked him downtown January 29.

Each new charge carries a potential jail sentence of up to four years.

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Smollett himself, according to reports in media citing unnamed sources, apologized last month to the cast and crew on the set of "Empire" but maintained his innocence.

The actor and singer is now out on $100,000 bond and is due back in court March 14 on a felony charge of disorderly conduct.

Smollett, 36, who plays gay performer Jamal Lyon on the popular Fox drama, originally reported that he was attacked in Chicago by two masked assailants, who used racist and homophobic slurs.

Brothers Abel and Ola - who were seen on surveillance footage the night of the incident and later questioned by police - were arrested and questioned by police last week but were released after telling police about the alleged hoax.

In addition to making these statements to Officer Muhammed Baig, some of the counts are for false statements reportedly made to Officer Kim Murray.

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The US President initially called the alleged attack "horrible" but took to Twitter to condemn Smollett's "racist and risky comments".

Smollett is scheduled to be arraigned on March 14.

The actor's attorneys released a statement on Saturday, claiming "Jussie Smollett is angered and devastated by recent reports that the perpetrators are individuals he is familiar with".

Smollett had told police he was assaulted at 2am by two men who shouted homophobic and racist slurs at him and put a noose around his neck.

Within days of the "Good Morning America" interview, police announced that the trajectory of the criminal investigation had shifted, and that Smollett was being treated as a suspect. After 47 hours in police custody, the pair told police that Smollett has paid them $3,500 to stage the attack, in an effort to raise the actor's profile and win him a higher salary for his role on the TV show.

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